Consumer awareness 'is crucial'.
He was speaking as he addressed food traders.
He highlighted the awareness campaigns conducted by the Consumers Protection Directorate on the importance of field inspection visits to ensure ministerial pricing decisions are implemented
He vowed to enforce tough laws to counter violations, particularly monopoly and cheating. Traders reported a substantial drop in the prices of food commodities.
Food investor Ibrahim Al Amir confirmed the trend, adding that Bahrain is offering competitive prices compared to neighbouring countries.
"Vegetables and fruits are cheaper in Bahrain which re-exports the surplus to neighbouring countries," he said.
"The approaching summer season and the availability of a variety of products explain the drop in prices," he said.
Investor Mahran Kazarooni said Gulf families visit Bahrain to purchase their food needs, particularly basmati rice.
"High quality and affordable prices are the main reasons that attract GCC shoppers to Bahrain," he said.
Other traders stressed the positive impact of regular meetings and follow-up steps in ensuring market stability.
They also stressed the importance of consumers' awareness in controlling food prices.
The ministry also plays a vital role in maintaining market stability, protect consumers and cater to their needs at affordable prices.
It also plays a key role in fostering positive and fair consumer practices.
Dr Fakhro cautioned against excessive food storage and advised customers to shop at big shopping malls which offer reasonable prices.
Small shops in remote villages, he said, often increase prices over transportation costs.
Copyright 2009 Gulf Daily News
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